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“Could have been better”
Review of Sint-Janshospitaal

Sint-Janshospitaal
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$55.15*
and up
Ghent and Bruges Day Trip from Brussels
Ranked #26 of 153 things to do in Bruges
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Sint-Janshospitaal owns six masterpieces by the Flemish primitive artist Hans Memling, as well as many religious paintings and sculptures. Objects of applied art, such as furniture, silverwork, medical instruments, reliquaries, archive documents, and apothecary pots reflect 800 years of care. Sint-Janshospitaal is one of the oldest preserved hospital buildings in Europe. In the museum, you can learn more about hospital life in the past and how the wards would have looked then. Furniture, paintings, sculptures, silverware, and pewterware are the silent witnesses of the care for bodies and souls that took place in this hospital through the centuries. The building’s supporting framework is also unique and is one of the oldest and largest in Europe. The old apothecary’s and herb garden is also well worth a visit. In the hospital chapel, the focus is all on the work of the most famous of the Flemish Primitives: Hans Memling. This painter lived and worked in Bruges in the 15th century and created his most important masterpieces here, including the famous Shrine of St Ursula, which was painted specifically for Sint-Janshospitaal.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed February 21, 2013

OK, this museum gives a very good insight in how the ill were treated centuries ago. And boy am I glad that I never had to spend any time in a place like this :)

On the downside, a lot of pieces were missing (lend out to other museums, that's understandable). However, the removal of the audio guides was a real pity. Here and there one could find some information on cards, but overall the amount of information available was too limited.

Do not forget to visit the old apothecary!

Thank Tom D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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481 - 485 of 1,007 reviews

Reviewed February 7, 2013

The Memlings are the main attraction - and for me the only attraction. The church is sombre and for me did not enhance them.
Go round the corner for the Picasso. An unexpected treat.

Thank V75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

With three days to spend in Bruges last September, I was very strategic in choosing the elements of our itinerary. I put the Memling in Sint-Jan Hospitaalmuseum for the first day because I knew from a previous visit that it is wonderful but not quite on the level of the famous Groeninge Museum.

One thing I missed this time was a wonderful audio guide that came with the price of admission. Apparently, all the museums in Bruges have discontinued their audio guides (except for the Stadhuis). But there are laminated cards with some explanation of the wonderful art, so that is helpful. Memling is under-appreciated outside of Flemish Primitive enthusiasts, but for infusing realism with subtle style and bringing his subjects to life, for bringing out the beauty in the plain, there are few equals!

Thank Charming_Karl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

Great artworks by Memling and an insight into the history of this 12th century hospice. The vaulted ceilings are amazing!

Thank Kevin_Tilley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

very nice and learnfull museum in the old city hospital. don't forget to visit the old medicin shop next door. really helpfull to live yourselve into the medieval times...

Thank Staessen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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